What is a chondral defect?
Cartilage is a strong layer of smooth tissue that covers the lining of a number of joints in the body. If there is a defect in this cartilage, this is known as a chondral defect. Physiotherapy is an important treatment for chondral defects.
How does a chondral defect happen?
A chondral defect usually occurs following an injury such as a blow to the knee or other joints. Cartilage does not repair by itself and therefore other treatment is needed.
What are the symptoms of a chondral defect?
The main symptom you will experience is pain from the trauma itself. This may be quite intense initially and accompanied with swelling and bruising if there is bleeding in the area. You will find movement of the joint restricted and painful and may find it difficult to put weight thorough the joint. Other symptoms may include:
What should I do if I have a chondral defect?
The most common surgical treatment for chondral defects is known as an arthroscopy. This is a keyhole procedure where small incisions are made in the skin so that a tiny camera can be inserted into the joint. The surgeon will then be able to ‘wash out’ the joint and removed any additional cartilage and resurface the defect. This can also be referred to as a ‘debridement’ technique.
What shouldn’t I do if I have a chondral defect?
Do not ignore your symptoms if you suspect you may have a chondral defect. This may delay your recovery and could cause more long-term complications.
Physiotherapy treatment following a chondral defect.
You should visit a physiotherapist both before and after your operation. Pre-operative physiotherapy can help keep the muscles surrounding and supporting the joint strong to maximise the success of the surgery. You should begin your comprehensive physiotherapy programme as soon as possible following your operation. Physiotherapy options may include:
Could there be any long-term effects from a chondral defect?
Rehabilitation following chondral defect surgery will depend on the extent of the injury and the exact surgical procedure carried out. With a personalised physiotherapy programme, there should not be any long term complications and you will be able to return to your normal activities of daily living.
To arrange a physiotherapy assessment call Physio.co.uk on 0330 088 7800 or book online.